These days, technology and travel go hand-in-hand. There are a thousand-and-one sites and apps to help you navigate your way through the world. If you want to be really adventurous, you could ditch the phone, pack your bags, hitchhike and couchsurf your way into strange lands and awesome experiences but if you need to do a bit of planning – which is always advisable, here are some of sites and apps I recommend;
I always try to book my flights online whenever I travel and I love using the TravelStart website because it is easy to navigate, compare prices and routes of multiple airlines. The site can also be used to book hotels and rent cars but I haven’t tried those features yet.
I’ve also made use of Wakanow to book my flights in the past and I use sites like Skyscanner and FareCompare to compare prices as well.
Booking.com is my go-to app for accommodation reservations. I use it for all my trips because it’s so easy to book ho(s)tels and compare ratings and prices. What I also love about the app is the free city guide that comes with most of the bookings made and the offline map.
The Man in Seat Sixty-One site contains every detail you would need to plan your land travel by train, (sometimes bus) and ferry. If the country has got a working train system, you can be sure he has that covered on the site.
I found this site to be very useful in planning my Euro tour as well as my trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg. It was also through this site I discovered the Trainline site/app which made booking train tickets so much fun!
I made use of Trainline for almost all my train journeys in Europe. I loved buying train tickets using this app. Even though they are middlemen between the train companies themselves and the users, there is no extra cost you pay for booking through the app or site.
Route Perfect allows you to plan your trip around Europe. The site allows you to enter destinations you are interested in and then it tries to map out a ‘perfect route’ for you which you can manually edit to suit your preferences.
The site also gives suggestions on where to visit, day trips you could make and so on. And then, it helps you to price your trip based on a budget type you select. You can then go ahead to book your trip package directly on the site.
I know there are lots of complaints with Google maps leading people to dead ends and weird places 🙂 but honestly, I’ve never had a negative experience using this app. I’ve found it to be very useful even when I’m not travelling, so I wouldn’t be ditching it anytime soon.
I haven’t really made use of this during my trips but I always make sure I have it handy. Occasionally, I check for new words and how to say certain things in a new language but I’ve never had to use to communicate directly with people. I think it’s a good app to have though.
Trip Advisor offers reviews from other travellers about hotels, activities, restaurants and so many more travel related topics, thereby giving you suggestions on where to visit, what to do and so on. A few of the travel choices I have made have been (carefully) based on reviews on this site/app. I have also used tour operators I found here on my trips to India and Tanzania – both were amazing.
But I say ‘carefully’ because reviews are very subjective. I have also read about Trip Advisor taking down negative reviews of some establishments.
The Paris metro system is one of the densest in the world and can be quite difficult to navigate. I found this app to be very useful in getting me from Point A to B easily. It also helps to define your routes from your current location to tourist attractions within the city. The app works offline as well.
Because communication is key! – Mum
Have I missed out any awesome apps and sites that you use? Let me know in the comment section below.